Nick Gier

Nick Gier

April 8 was Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, and Jews there and around the world are recoiling in horror as America’s right-wing extremists, inspired by ex-president Donald Trump’s bigotry, openly express their hatred of Jews and blame them for a plot to replace the white race with people of color.

Jewish sites hit with graffiti and murder

On Dec. 11, the Anne Frank Memorial in Boise was found defaced with swastikas and a warning “we are everywhere.” On Feb. 9, Temple Beth Shalom in Spokane was vandalized, the second time in seven years. Neo-Nazi Raymond Bryant, who earlier was seen distributing anti-Semitic literature in Spokane neighborhoods, was arrested for the crime.

On Oct. 28, 2018, Robert Bowers entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh during Sabbath services and murdered 11 worshippers, wounding six. After he was arrested, Bowers admitted that he “wanted all Jews to die,” because they were “committing genocide to his people.”

Anti-Semitism on Jan. 6

At the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, a man identified as Robert Packer was wearing a sweatshirt that read “Camp Auschwitz — Work Brings Freedom.” (This is a translation of a sign that hung above the entrance to the death camp.) Rioters were yelling, “Where’s the Jew,” a reference to Sen. Chuck Schumer, as he was hunted along with former Vice President Mike Pence.

On Dec. 12, at a Black Lives Matter rally in Washington, D.C., Proud Boys were seen wearing a sweatshirt with “6MWE” on it.

It stands for “6 million (Jews) weren’t enough.” On the shirt was another acronym “RWDS,” which stands for “right wing death squad.” One man yelled out “fg Jew” as he attacked a protester.

Former Proud Boy leader Kyle Chapman declared: “We will confront the Zionist criminals who wish to destroy our civilization.” Proud Boy Indiana chapter president Brien James is a former neo-Nazi, as are many other members.

Neo-Nazi hate in Charlottesville

Proud Boy Jason Kessler helped organize the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump called these anti-Semite thugs “fine people,” and during the 2016 campaign, he tweeted a picture of Hillary Clinton next to a Star of David awash in $100 bills.

One of the chants of those who marched was “the Jews will not replace us.” Given the small number of Jews in the world, this makes sense only within the insane theory that Jews, who are seen by these miscreants as non-white, are leading a world-wide conspiracy that promotes the immigration of Muslims and people of color.

  • At the Charlottesville rally, swastikas were everywhere and another chant was “blood and soil,” a reference to Hitler’s vision of the Aryan race rooted in the soil of Germany. One marcher told a reporter: “This city is run by Jewish communists and criminal ns.”

A popular white nationalist website proclaims that “Europeans are the children of God, Jews are the children of Satan, and white genocide is their plan.” QAnon conspiracists also propagate anti-Semitism, and Q once tweeted an image of a knife- wielding Jew standing knee-deep in the blood of his European victims.

Fox News and Taylor Greene push ‘replacement’ theory

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson supports the “replacement” theory: “The Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate with new people, more obedient voters, from the third world. Every time they import a new voter, I become disenfranchised as a current voter.” The Anti-Defamation League has urged Fox News to fire Carlson, but its executives say he’s staying.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was leading an effort to form an America First Caucus in Congress that would promote a unique Anglo-Saxon heritage, which she believes is “threatened when foreign citizens are imported en-mass into a country and do not contribute positively to the country.” The backlash was so bad that she was forced to withdraw the idea.

At a recent congressional hearing Central American migration, GOP Rep. Scott Perry stated: “Many Americans believe we’re replacing native-born Americans to permanently transform the landscape of this very nation.” Trump has used the word “invasion” 19 times to warn about perceived undesirables coming into the country.

Military, police and white nationalism

People with military training performed a maneuver called “the stack” as they moved through the crowd at the Capitol. Nearly 20 percent of the rioters were active-duty military, veterans or policemen with military experience. Dressed in a helmet and body armor, Larry Brock Jr. said that he was preparing for a “second civil war.”

A Defense Department report titled “The Military, Police, and the Rise of Terrorism in the United States” showed that in 2020 there were 110 incidents of far-right domestic terrorism among military personnel and 70 involved white supremacists. A Capitol policeman was recently suspended after anti-Semitic literature was found in his office.

April 19 was the 26th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing, which killed 168 people. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were veterans who had trained with a militia in Michigan. McVeigh’s primary influence was the novel “The Turner Diaries,” in which patriots rise up against a government dominated by the Jews.

Education and training desperately needed

According to Bloomberg News, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is committed to “rewriting the definition of prohibited extremist activity in the military and updating questionnaires on past activities for new recruits.” He also “ordered a mandatory day of extremists training.”

The general public, especially our young people, also need a refresher course on the basics. A survey of millennials and generation Z-age people found that 63 percent did not know that 6 million Jews lost their lives in the Holocaust, and only 48 percent could name a single death camp.

We, especially the teachers among us, must rededicate ourselves to confronting biases, even within ourselves, correcting misinformation and exposing lies about others different from ourselves.

Nick Gier of Moscow taught philosophy at the University of Idaho for 31 years. Read his columns on civil rights at www.webpages.uidaho.edu/ngier/CivilRights.htm. Email him at ngier006@gmail.com.